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Top PI: Moving your research to a different country

Gerhard Leubner, a plant biochemist at Royal Holloway, University of London, had 10 people working for him when he decided to move his lab from Germany to the UK. Craig Nicholson asked him about the logistics of the move and the differences between working in the two countries.

Everyone is familiar with the stress of moving house: the need to coordinate vacating one place and arriving at the next, the hard work of packing and the worry that something might get broken in transit. Gerhard Leubner knows this stress all too well: the seed biologist had a laboratory full of equipment and 10 staff when he decided to move his research group from Germany to the UK in 2012.

“Moving people and the lab equipment to the UK—and then a bit later moving house and my personal things—was quite a challenge,” he says with a sigh. “We moved in here with a lorry with 45 cubic metres of stuff. It worked out fine, but it was a lot of organisation.”

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